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How Many Hours Can You Eat During Intermittent Fasting

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Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up During Fasting

Intermittent Fasting – How it Works? Animation

While this does not happen with everyone, it can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during intermittent fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the dawn phenomenon and in general is not a concern as long as blood sugars are not elevated the rest of the day.45

The Different Intermittent Fasting Hours Make Fasting Easier And A Viable Way To Lose Weight Without Sacrificing Your Health

There are more than a few different ways to do intermittent fasting and they all work differently for people. The idea is to add fasting periods into your schedule to focus more on when you eat versus what you eat the hours you eat on a fast are important.

The overall idea is simple, force the body into a temporary state of ketosis so that it uses stored fat for energy instead of from food consumed.

But with 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week that allows for custom intermittent fasting hours. You can decide which plan works best for you and then give it a shot. You will surely find that weight loss becomes easier with intermittent fasting.

What Is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting restricts when or how much you eat and sometimes both. One variation, time-restricted eating, involves eating only during a certain time window, usually eight hours, over a single day. For example, you would eat only during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then fast during the other 16 hours.

The other approaches, alternate-day and whole-day fasting, actually don’t involve strict fasting. Instead, you choose two or more days during the week when you cut way back on the food you eat, limiting yourself to just 400 to 600 calories per day. On the other days of the week, you follow your normal eating pattern. In one popular version, the 5:2 diet, you eat normally for five days, then restrict your calories on two non-consecutive days. With alternate-day fasting, you eat a calorie-restricted diet every other day.

Also Check: What Counts As Intermittent Fasting

Side Effects And Safety Concerns

Proponents of intermittent fasting find that it is an effective approach to lose weight and simplify their diet.

However, this diet has drawbacks and may not be appropriate for everyone.

As you might imagine, the most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger.

Additionally, people sometimes report symptoms such as weakness and fatigue during the fasting window, especially when first starting the 16:8 eating plan.

Overeating or binge eating can also occur during the eating window. This may result in weight gain, digestive issues, and unhealthy food habits.

If you are underweight, intermittent fasting may not be the right option for you and could result in harm to your health.

Additionally, individuals who have a history of eating disorders may want to avoid intermittent fasting, as this regimen may not provide enough flexibility to support treatment and recovery.

People with underlying medical and health conditions should speak with a healthcare professional before trying the 16:8 diet.

This includes anyone who:

  • Has a history of an eating disorder
  • Is trying to become pregnant
  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding

Furthermore, if you find that you are uncomfortable with the idea of fasting for 16 hours, then the 16:8 diet may not be the best choice for you.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all way to nutrition, and the best diets are the ones that you can maintain for the long run.

Branch Chain Amino Acid Supplement

The Benefits Of Fasting

A final IF-approved supplement is the BCAA. While this muscle-building aid is most beneficial for the individual who enjoys fasted cardio or hard workouts at the crack of dawn, it can be consumed all throughout the day to prevent the body from going into a catabolic state and preserve lean muscle mass. Note: If you choose to follow a vegan diet pattern, this supplement may be off-limits, as most are sourced from duck feathers.

Read Also: What Is 14 10 Fasting

So Which Intermittent Fasting Schedule Is Best For Weight Loss Whichever One You’ll Actually Stick To Tbh

In short, the one that’s easiest for you to follow. “It is all about sustainability for the individual,” says Lemein. “If one of these diets work well for you and your lifestyle and preferences, then you will likely see some success. If not, then you’ll likely not see the results you’re are looking for, as the sustainability piece will not be there.” That means picking a diet that work best with all the lifestyle factors you need to consider, like your work schedule, family dynamic, living situation, commute time, and travel commitments, notes Lemein.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that the 16:8 diet seems to be the most doable for a lot of people who are into IF. The 16:8 method also scores points for preventing overeating at night, which can often be a big obstacle for weight loss. And sticking to an eight-hour eating window during daylight hours allows your metabolism to run as itâs supposed toâyou fuel up for energy during the day , and stop eating for rest and recovery at night, per a 2017 article in the journal Nutrition Reviews.

The bottom line: All intermittent fasting schedules may lead to weight loss if you can follow them sustainably, and the 16:8 method may be the easiest way to follow an IF diet.

The Benefits Of An Extended Fast

Obviously, you can’t fast for 24 hours every day because, you know, food is essential for life. So if you do want to experiment with these longer autophagy-inducing fasts, you’ll have to strategically space them out. “My opinion is that a longer episode without any caloric intake done a few times per month over decades is likely the best approach for preventing chronic diseases because it is feasible to do consistently over a lifetimethe period of time that chronic diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes develop,” says Benjamin Horne, Ph.D., a genetic epidemiologist who is currently conducting a trial evaluating the effectiveness of a once-per-week 24-hour water-only fast.

Fasts up to 36 hours have also shown promise for people with type 2 diabetes, says Pedre, but these would absolutely need to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Read Also: How To Do Water Fasting For Weight Loss

What Are The Negative Effects Of Intermittent Fasting

In my own experimentation with Intermittent Fasting since 2014, I have found very few negative side effects with Intermittent Fasting.

The biggest concern most people have is that Intermittent Fasting will lead to lower energy, focus, and the holy crap I am hungry feeling during the fasting period and ruin them.

People are concerned that they will spend all morning being miserable because they havent consumed any food, and thus will be miserable at work and ineffective at whatever task it is they are working on.

The following are my thoughts and experiences, and your results may vary:

Yes, the initial transition from EATING ALL THE TIME, to intermittent fasting MIGHT be a bit of a jolt to your system it was for me.

However, once I got through the transition after a few days, my body quickly adapted and learned to function just as well only eating a few times a day.

Although I fast for 16 hours per day with no issues, the following might help assuage your fears that skipping breakfast will cause your body to eat itself and your brain to implode:

After 48-hours of fasting in a recent study , cognitive performance, activity, sleep, and mood are not adversely affected in healthy humans by two days of calorie-deprivation. Youll be fasting for far less time than that.

So why do I feel grouchy and lethargic when I skip breakfast?

If you eat breakfast every morning, your body expects to wake up and eat food.

What Else Can I Drink While I’m In A Fasted State

We Tried Intermittent Fasting For A Month | TODAY

Obviously, you can drink wateryou can even punch it up with some fresh fruit or a squeeze of lemon for flavor as long as you arent actually eating the fruit. But Boules says you can also reach for unsweetened tea, which is zero calories without anything extra added to it.

What you cant drink, however, are things like fruit juices, green juices, or smoothies. This trips people up sometimes, because we tend to think stuff in liquid form is calorie-free, just like water. But juices and smoothies are made with food, which means they have enough calories to break your fast.

The whole idea behind the alleged health-promoting benefits is actually fasting , says Boules. consuming something caloric during fasting hours in the form of sweetened beverages, juices, or smoothies, you’re not fasting.

Remember, the whole concept of intermittent fasting relies on a prolonged, uninterrupted period of not consuming any calories .

Most people opt for a 16:8 dietfasting for 16 hours per day and eating during an 8-hour windowthough it’s not totally clear as of now if 16 hours of intermittent fasting is the magic number of fasting hours to see weight-loss results. But, that’s a reasonable rule to follow until science reveals more about IF.

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So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds

I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”

So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.

Mistake #: Youre Eating Too Many Calories

“Does anyone else eat like crazy right when the fast is over and is it normal to have a huge appetite during the feeding period? It is hard for me to get full after a 20 hour fast and I just eat the whole 4 hours. LOL.”

Id venture to guess that this person is eating more calories than whats needed in that 4-hour window. So instead of laughing your way through a marathon all-you-can-eat session, plan for how youll break your fast. Stock up on high-protein foods and/or high-fiber foods . Theyll not only fill you up, but will keep you feeling full.

“If I do a 20:4 fast then I should consume 1500-2000 calories within four hours? Am I understanding this correctly?”

Technically, yes. But depending on a persons body size, eating 2,000 calories in a 4-hour window might not yield any weight loss. I dont know this persons size, though. Now, most people lose weight on 1,500 calories, but one of the pros of IF is that its hard to eat a ton of calories in a short window of time. For some, following IF is an easier way to cut calories and lose weight than simply following a traditional calorie-restricted diet. So if you cant hit the 1,500- or 2,000-calorie mark in 4 hours every day, its OK. If falling below 1,200 calories a day becomes a regular habit, though, reconsider your diet plan. If youre not sure how many calories youre consuming, track them in a free app like MyFitnessPal.

Recommended Reading: What Foods To Eat While Intermittent Fasting

Your Approach Is Way Too Extreme

Sure, you want to grab this diet trend by the lapels and run with it, but there’s no need to starve yourself. Taking in less than 800 calories per day will cause greater weight loss , but greater bone loss. That’s not healthyor sustainablein the long term. Not to mention, if you make your windows of not eating too long, you won’t be able to stick with it. Make smaller, manageable changes and always listen to your body.

What Can You Eat Or Drink While Intermittent Fasting

5 Intermittent Fasting Tips for Success

If youre new to intermittent fasting and want to make sure your efforts yield the results youre looking for, youve probably wondered: what can you eat or drink while intermittent fasting?

If youre totally new to intermittent fasting, read this post first, its everything you need to know about IF, and then come back to this post.

I want to first note that you should first consult a licensed medical physician before you jump into intermittent fasting. IF isnt for everyone and therefore, its something to discuss with a professional.

The purpose of this post is to give you an overview of IF schedules, not to provide any professional/medical advice.

To fast is to abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink. However, intermittent fasting means to cycle a fast and therefore, there are a few rules to adhere to and not abstain from liquids completely.

Side note: medical fasts and religious fasts are different than intermittent fasting.

So whether youre practicing intermittent fasting for health benefits, brain benefits, or weight loss, check out the dos and donts.

Recommended Reading: How Much Do I Eat During Intermittent Fasting

How Safe Is Intermittent Fasting

The 12 hour intermittent fasting Keto or Ketogenic diet and other carbohydrate-restricted diets aim to achieve ketosis, which is an accumulation of acidic ketones in the blood. As much as the outcomes are great, ketosis can cause liver, brain, and kidney damage. It is unsafe for individuals with chronic disorders such as diabetes and heart disease. Your blood sugar should also be stable for you to follow this diet plan. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your doctor and seek guidance from a licensed dietitian before beginning 12 hour intermittent fasting.

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How Many Pounds Can You Lose In One Month

Many of you may want to know how much weight you can lose in the first few weeks on an intermittent fasting plan.

After all, it is only natural to want to see the effects of your hard work in less time.

Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to this question.

The amount of weight that you may lose on any diet depends on several factors, including your age, gender, genetics, starting weight, calorie intake, daily calorie deficit, physical activity, and where you are in your health journey.

Additionally, healthy habits, including sleep, nutrition, stress management, and exercise , can affect weight change.

Ultimately, weight loss results while dieting will be different for different individuals and different bodies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommend a gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week or about 4 to 8 pounds in one month .

This is because individuals who lose weight at a steady rate may be more successful at keeping the weight off in the long run.

Simply because a diet promises its followers rapid weight loss, especially during the first few weeks, does not mean that the weight change will be permanent.

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Mistake #: Youre Overanalyzing

“Does IF mean no food outside meal times, or no calories?”

Um, they are one in the same, no? Does anyone reading this article know of foods that have zero calories? If so, please share! This persons assumption is correct, thoughno food and no calories outside of the feeding window.

Will eating ______ break my fast?

Does anyone else feel like this question comes up about a thousand times a day? Short answer: Yes. Eating anything with calories breaks your fast. Exceptions to this rule would be black coffee, unsweetened and milk-free tea, water, and diet soda

Tips And Tricks About Fasting

Top Intermittent Fasting Advantages | Jason Fung

#1) Dont freak out! Stop wondering: can I fast 15 hours instead of 16? or what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything? Relax. Your body is a complex piece of machinery and learns to adapt. Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.

If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, thats okay. If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwisefreaking chill out and dont stress over minutiae!

Dont let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to your intermittent fasting plan.

#2) Consider fasted walks in the morning. I found these to be very helpful in reducing body fat, and also gave my day a great start to clear my mind and prepare for the day.

Simply wake up and go for a mile walk. Maybe you could even start walking to Mordor?

#3) Listen to your body during your strength training workouts. If you get light headed, make sure you are consuming enough water.

If you notice a significant drop in performance, make sure you are eating enough calories during your feasting window.

And if you feel severely off, pause your workout. Give yourself permission to EASE into intermittent fasting and fasted workouts. This is especially true if you are an endurance athlete.

#4) Expect funny looks if you spend a lot of mornings with breakfast eaters.

#7) Track your results, listen to your body:

This is just one tool that can contribute to your success.

Read Also: How Does Intermittent Fasting Help Weight Loss

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